Location: McPherson Kansas

Biography of Harris W. Manning, M. D.

Harris W. Manning, M. D. The country along the banks of the Cottonwood River around Emporia had become a landmark in Kansas literature, largely due to the ability of William Allen White in investing those scenes with literary color and description. It was along the hanks of the farnous Cotton wood, four miles west of Emporia in Lyon County, that Dr. Harris W. Manning, a prominent physician and a specialist at Eureka, was born September 20, 1868. His father, Patrick W. Manning, belonged to the colony of earliest settlers in Lyon County, having homesteaded a claim there about the middle of the decade of the ’50s, when the first white settlemenits were being planted along the Cottonwood. Patrick W. Manning was a son of William and Catherine (White) Manning, both natives of Ireland. William Manning followed milling in Ireland near his birthplace at Waterford, but about 1846 immigrated to America and landed at Montreal, Canada, and from there went to Buffalo, New York. Both he and his wife died there soon afterward. Of their children who are still living, William is a resident of Buffalo, New York, and Kate is a resident of Norman, Oklahoma, the widow of Henry King, who was a furrier and later a farmer in Kansas. Patrick W. Manning was born in Waterford, Ireland, in 1834, and was about twelve years of age when his...

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Biography of Thomas Jones Darrah

Thomas Jones Darrah. One of the men most prominently identified with the development of McPherson County from pioneer times forward, and who made a striking success in business, was the late Thomas Jones Darrah, who died in the City of McPherson May 4, 1916. Mr. Darrah was in his seventy-third year when death called him. He was born in Burke County, Pennsylvania, October 6, 1843, a son of Dr. James and Margaret R. (Jones) Darrah, who were also natives of the Keystone state. Prior to the Civil war, Doctor Darrah brought his family out to Kansas and located in Leavehworth County, where he lived until his death. The widowed mother afterward died in McPherson County. Owing to the conditions under which his boyhood was spent, Thomas J. Darrah derived most of his education from the great teacher, Experience. His alert mind, keen perception, and remarkable memory enabled him, when but a boy, to meet the responsibilities and undertake business ventures worthy of a man. He and his brother Sam, just a little older than himself, engaged in freighting over the Santa Fe trail, a profitable but hazardous business in those days of Indian raiders and frontier desperadoes. They not only hauled freight for the Government, mails, money, etc., and for other shippers, but they often bought their own loads and carried on a prairie mercantile business. The cargo was...

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Biography of A. J. Shaw

A. J. Shaw, of McPherson, is the acknowledged expert authority in the West on the subject of hail insurance. Since its organization in 1899 he had been continuously secretary of the McPherson Hail Insurance Company. The McPherson Hail Insurance Company is a business organization of which the State of Kansas may be proud. It was the first Kansas company to offer an adequate service in this department of insurance. Prior to twenty-five years ago insurance against Hail was almost unknown as a practice in Kansas. The only company that offered such insurance was the St. Paul Fire & Marine. About 1891 the Farmers Alliance Insurance Company of McPherson created a hail department, but continued it only four or five years. The experiment was unsatisfactory, largely because the rate was three and one-eighth per cent, which subsequent experience had proved too low. In December, 1898, H. F. Harbaugh, now president of the McPherson Hail Insurance Company, introduced in the Legislature, of which he was a member, a bill, providing for the organization of mutual hail insurance companies. In response to this bill a meeting was called at McPherson January 31, 1899. A number of those participating in the assion were members and officials of the Farmers Alliance organization. This meeting resulted in the organization of the Kansas State Mutual Hail Association, which in January, 1914, became the McPherson Hail Insurance...

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Lingafelter, Betty C. – Obituary

La Grande, Oregon Betty C. Lingafelter, 76, of La Grande, died April 22 at a local care center. No public services are planned at this time. Daniels-Knopp Funeral, Cremation & Life Celebration Center is in charge of arrangements. Betty was born June 11, 1931, in Topeka, Kan., to Hulda and John I. Gustafson of McPherson, Kan. She married Dean Lingafelter of Galva, Kan., on March 12, 1948. Betty was active in McPherson High School and in church activities growing up. She loved to do anything with group and social activities. Betty had a variety of jobs and she enjoyed them all. She and Dean owned a camera shop in McPherson. She also worked as manager of clothing and shoe stores from Hatfields to Burch’s in Eugene and Springfield. She joined her husband, Dean, and worked for the Lane County Sheriff’s office in vice in Eugene. She managed a shoe store in La Grande, then worked in advertising at KLBM radio in La Grande. Betty got involved in pet groups in La Grande and Union, which she was very dedicated to. She helped organize Pets and People, and helped get the Humane Society in La Grande where it is located now. She liked to go camping, fishing and dancing in her younger years. Photography was always in her life, and it became a fulfilling hobby for her. She is survived...

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Biography of Cornelius Enns

Cornelius Enns founded an important industry in McPherson County and at his death left behind him a highly successful enterprise and the memory of an industrious, upright and thoroughly capable citizen. To no one class of people does Kansas owe more than to the Mennonites who came out of Southern Russia and applied their experience and methodical industry to the magnificent wheat fields of the Sunflower state. Cornelius Enns was a representative of that class of people. He was born in the Village of Landskrone, Taurida, in Southern Russia in 1839. His death occurred at Inman, Kansas, June 1, 1904, aged sixty-five years, seven months, eleven days. Both his father and grandfather were of German nationality and were pioneers in that section of Southern Russia and were among the most important men of the Village of Landskrone. The father for many years operated an old fashioned tread mill at Landskrone. The late Cornelius Enns learned the business of milling in his father’s establishment and soon became a competent miller. At the age of twenty-two he married and bought a windmill in the neighboring town of Gnadenfeld. A storm overturned the first mill, but he built it up better and stronger than before and in a more favorable situation. He soon acquired the full lot and interest of a villager and on being given the right of a voter became...

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Biography of Warren Knaus

Warren Knaus has two distinctions among the citizens of Kansas. For over thirty years he had been an editor and newspaper publisher at McPherson and is now one of the oldest newspaper men in continuous service in the state. His other claim to distinction is one more exclusive and recognized chiefly in scientific circles, but his work had brought him some of the rewards paid to scientific scholarship granted by bodies of world membership. He is one of the chief authorities in Kansas on entomology. A resident of Kansas since 1870, Mr. Knaus was twelve years of age when the family came from Indiana to this state. He was born February 24, 1858, near Liber in Jay County, Indiana. He was the youngest son of six children born to George and Isabel Knaus. The Knaus family originated in Germany, the first of the name coming to this country in 1742 and settling in Berks County, Pensylvania. Branches of the family also resided in Lancaster County, from which place Mr. Knaus’ grandfather moved to Tuscarawas County, Ohio, locating in the early part of the nineteenth century at Zoar, near Trenton. About 1840 George Knaus moved to Mercer County, Ohio, on the Indiana line. He married Isabel Scott and they made their home at Liber, near Portland, the county seat of Jay County, Indiana, and also near Fort Recovery in Mercer...

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Biography of Herman Bartels

Herman Bartels, the pioneer lumber merchant and president of the Bank of Inman, had been identified with McPherson County for over forty years. He is a veteran German soldier and fought with the armies of the empire in the Franco-Prussian war. He had a thorough technical and professional training in German schools, and was educated as an architect, but after coming to Kansas he applied his energies first to farming and later to constructive business affairs in Inman, and had been the chief business man of that town for many years. Mr. Bartels was born October 24, 1846, in the Kingdom of Hanover, Germany, a son of Ferdinand and Caroline (Sandvoff) Bartels, also natives of Germany. Mr. Bartels finished the regular common-school course in Germany, and at the age of eighteen completed a course at architecture at a Polytechnical College. His trade or profession he subsequently followed through journeyman’s experience in Germany, Switzerland and France until 1867. He was enrolled as a private in the Prussian army and gave three years of service. He was assigned to duty as a member of the Pioneer Corps, and his active military experience came during the Franco-Prussian war of 1870-71, in which he was a petty officer. He was present during the sieges of Metz and Paris, and though all that experience as a soldier came more than forty-five years ago Mr....

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Biography of John M. Nelson

John M. Nelson is one of the oldest business men of McPherson County, and had continuously been dealing in hardware and implements at Lindsborg for thirty-four years. One of the oldest merchants, he is also one of the oldest settlers, having come as a boy with his parents to McPherson County almost fifty years ago. From pioneer times to the present his family have been an important factor in the material development and general well being of this section of Kansas. Mr. Nelson was born November 1, 1852, on Boberg farm, Sunne Wormland, Sweden, a son of Jan and Stena (Janson) Nelson. His parents were also natives of Sweden. The father was born in 1829 and died at Lindsborg, Kansas, in 1902, while the mother was born in 1832 and died at Lindsborg in 1868, the year the family arrived in America. Hers was the first death that occurred among the permanent white settlers in the county. After the birth of their children they sought in 1868 the better opportunities of America. They came to this country without capital, and their first home was a piece of Government land a mile south of the present town of Lindsborg. They were not only among the first of the Swedish colony in this section of the state, but also among the first of any white settlers there. Mr. John M. Nelson...

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Biography of Isaac Fenton Talbott

Isaac Fenton Talbott, of McPherson, is president of the Farmers Alliance Insurance Company, with headquarters in that city. He had been identified with this organization nearly thirty years. The Farmers Alliance Insurance Company is perhaps the largest and most notable of the co-operative financial enterprises that were the outgrowth of the economic unrest of the ’80s and early ’90s. The company was organized in 1887 on the co-operative plan. It writes both fire and tornado insurance, and is now one of the largest of the state’s financial institutions. It had insurance in force in every one of the 105 counties of the state and had agents and representatives in each county. As a mutual company it is one of the largest and had one of the best records shown in the annals of such companies in America. The company now had about $75,000,000 insurance in force and a membership of over 45,000. Its board of directors number fifteen. I. F. Talbott was born January 28, 1853, on a farm in Morgan County, Ohio. His parents, William and Margaret (Stubbs) Talbott, were also natives of Ohio. Mr. Talbott grew up on a farm, had the atmosphere of rural surroundings, and had always kept in close touch with rural interests. He was educated in the public schools of Morgan County and at a business college in Zanesville, Ohio. Before coming to...

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Bigraphy of Herbert A. Rowland

Herbert A. Rowland, of McPherson, is one of the most widely known civil engineers of Central Kansas. He had served nearly twenty years as county surveyor of McPherson County, is city engineer of McPherson City, but his work in laying out and supervising municipal improvements is not confined to one locality. He had been consulting engineer for half a dozen or more of the larger towns in that section of the state. Mr. Rowland belongs to the pioneer element of Kansas. He was born in a dugout on a claim in Saline County April 2, 1869. His parents were Joseph W. and Sarah Jane (Chamberlain) Rowland. His father, a son of William Rowland, a native of Washington County, Ohio, was also born in that county, October 28, 1840. He had just reached the years of manhood when the war broke out. He enlisted in Company I of the Sixty-second Ohio Volunteer Infantry and served until the close of the struggle. He was in the Army of the Potomac, the Army of the South and the Army of the James, and among the many important battles in which he participated were Bull Run, Deep Bottom, Wilderness, Winchester and in the closing scenes at Appomattox. In all the risks and dangers he incurred he was wounded only once, and then slightly, and was never taken prisoner. He was promoted to sergeant....

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Biography of Jeremiah L. Seitz

Jeremiah L. Seitz is one of the pioneers of McPherson County. He came to Kansas a short time after the close of the Civil war, in which he had served as one of the youngest volunteers on the Union side. As a homesteader, farmer, public official and business man he had played a worthy and influential role in McPherson County since pioneer days. He is still active and had a good business as a collecting agent and auctioneer. Mr. Seitz was born April 16, 1847, at Carlisle, Pennsylvania, son of Jacob and Barbara (Shellebarger) Seitz. His parents were natives of Germany and came to America when quite young. His father came over in 1831. The father was born in 1812 and the mother in 1814. They were married at Decatur, Illinois, in 1839. Jacob Seitz, who followed the business of merchant tailor, permanently located at Decatur in 1857, and lived there half a century, until his death, October 14, 1907. The mother died at Decatur September 20, 1876. There were five children, four sons and one daughter. John, the oldest, born in 1840, was a private soldier in Company B of the Eighth Illinois Infantry and was killed in battle at Fort Donelson in 1862. David W., the second in age, was born in May, 1842, and is now a veterinary surgeon and stock man at Bement, Illinois. Daniel,...

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Biography of Alexander Carraway Spilman

Alexander Carraway Spilman, living at McPherson at the age of eighty, is one of the few survivors of the true pioneer epoch of Kansas. The range of his experience seems remarkable even for a man of his age. He was in Kansas as a witness and newspaper correspondent of the factional turbulence of territorial days. He is a civil engineer by profession and was a member of the United States surveying party which surveyed Kansas west of the sixth principal meridian in 1858. It is probable that he is the only living pioneer or the oldest settler west of that meridian in Kansas. He knew the country when it was an absolute wilderness, a vast expanse of prairie and buffalo grass roamed over by the wild Indians and the buffalo. He fought as a soldier in the Civil war. He was one of the original company that founded the Town of Salina, and had been almost equally prominent in McPherson since that city came into existence. Captain Spilman was born at Yazoo City, Mississippi, October 5, 1837, a son of Dr. James F. and Margaret (Carraway) Spilman. His paternal grandfather Spilman, whose name was Benjamin, was born in Virginia. Dr. James F. Spilman, one of a family of eleven children, five sons and six daughters, was born in Kentucky in 1788 and died at Bunker Hill, Illinois, in 1870....

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Biography of William O. Mathes

William O. Mathes. There is no more enthusiastic Kansas than William O. Mathes of McPherson. He knows the state not merely as a great and prosperous modern commonwealth, but by intimate experience with this country when it was in its pioneer stages. He won his competence on a Kansas homestead and he and his people were among the earliest settlers in McPherson County. Mr. Mathes was born in a log house on a farm in Clark County, Indiana, September 7, 1854. His parents were Charles and Mary Ellen (Clark) Mathes. The Mathes family in an earlier generation became pioneers in Indiana Territory, living there when Indiana was on the western frontier and when the settlers had to dispute with the Indians their right to possession. Charles Mathes was born September 10, 1812, about the time the War of 1812 began, in a stockade fort in Clark County, Indiana. That fort had been put up for the protection of settlers against the Indians, and at that time all Indiana was aroused and in a state of fearfulness following the Indian uprising which had culminated in the battle of Tippecanoe only a few months previously. Charles Mathes was a farmer, lived in Indiana for many years, but in 1867 brought his family out to Kansas. He traveled overland by wagon and arriving in what is now McPherson County located his homestead...

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Biography of George W. McClintick

George W. McClintick. Kansas ought to remember the late George W. McClintick as a pioneer editor and newspaper man, and one of those who gave dignity to journalism and contributed not a little to Kansas’ place in literature. During much of his active life he lived at McPherson, where he died and where his widow, Mrs. Hester A. McClintick, still resided. George W. McClintick was born on a farm in Hancock County, Ohio, December 31, 1852, and died at McPherson, Kansas, August 21, 1903. His parents were Rev. William and Mary (Robbins) McClintick, of Scotch and English descent, the former a native of Pennsylvania and the latter of Virginia. From Ohio Rev. William McClintick removed with his family to Iowa, later to Nebraska, and for a number of years conducted a nursery near Lincoln. In 1872 he and his family came to McPherson and were among the early settlers of that county. Rev. William McClintick was a minister of the Free Methodist Church and organized the first church of that denomination in McPherson County. While in Kansas he followed farming and preaching and was also serving as mayor of McPherson at the time of his death on March 21, 1879. His wife died September 29, 1879. Their children were Emma, George W., Olive, Mary and William, all now deceased except Emma. George W. McClintick spent his early youth in...

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Biography of George G. Green

George G. Green, cashier of the Citizens State Bank of Little River, represents a pioneer family of Rice County, and had spent nearly all his life in this locality. He was born near Lexington, Missouri, November 16, 1869. His paternal ancestors came out of England and were colonists in Virginia. His grandfather, George Green, became a pioneer farmer in Western Illinois and died at Quincy in that state before George G. was born. The founder of the family in Kansas was William Green, father of the Little River banker. He was born at Quincy, Illinois, in 1831, grew up there, and in 1861 enlisted in the Second Illinois Cavalry for service in the Civil war. He gave practically four years of service as a soldier, substituting for another after his own term of enlistment had expired. Among other campaigns he was with Sherman on the famous march to the sea. He was twice wounded, bullets entering either side of the abdomen, and he carried those reminders of the war with him until he died. Immediately after the war he went to Lexington, Missouri, and engaged in farming and in 1873 arrived in Rice County, Kansas, where he homesteaded 160 acres 3½ miles east of Little River. He also took up and developed a timber claim, and thus had 320 acres. The old homestead is still part of his estate....

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